This property and your experience in it largely depends on what you are looking for. To begin with, the location is nice and quiet - away from the hustle and bustle of the mall road or salong valley. The achitecture is medieval and extremely quaint and resembles what you would expect from a castle.
We stayed in Chambers 2 and 3 and these are rooms which are ideal for a couple. You want the cottage if you are a larger family or friends group. The rooms (pictures available) is basic and functional but has a spectacular view of the snow capped mountains which makes for great viewing.
The staff stands out as extremely courteous, helpful and will go out of their way to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
You need to be careful with your food choices. Stick to Indian fare and the food feels like it was made at home and they make it very well. Opting for another cuisine may disappoint you. The breakfast buffet is limited and you may need to go a-la carte if you are looking for eggs to be made the way you like it.
Dinner ends at 10 PM - So if you're planning to stay up late, they have a seating area next to the lobby, near the restaurant where you can engage in private dining and drinks (carry your own) and play cards or whatever tickles you. The staff will stay nearby to cater to your requests. You will have to make your dinner order by 930 PM. So have stuff packed if you plan on staying up late.
If you are looking for authentic European fare (steaks, sandwiches) - you may want to pop down the road to Johnsons bar and restaurant (Recommended).
Overall, the hotel has a nice location, awesome staff, homely food and not over the top. If you are looking for a more exotic experience, this is not the hotel for you.
On the other hand, if you want to keep it simple and enjoy the service and home cooked meals and the quiet of the place - this hotel is a must.
1) I cannot stress on the importance of having a good cabbie dedicated to you. Our trip was largely successful due to our cabbie and him making the extra effort to ensure we went to the right places and indulging in the right activities. (Advance tips may help in ensuring that they stay motivated).
2) Dont waste your time going to Naggar. There is nothing there but a dilapidated castle which has nothing in it.
3) If you are planning on paragliding at Salong Valley (The High Flying option after the ropeway) be warned - once you take the ropeway and reach the top, you are required to walk/fall/slide across slippery snow slopes to get to the jump venue and you cannot turn back. This part is extremely dangerous so no matter what the guide sells you - they dont mention the approach. They also have medium flying options which are from below but not as good.
PS: Salong Valley is filthy and commercial. Gulaba/Rohtang Pass are way better options and much much cleaner.
4) If you are going to explore snow, paraglide or go to Salong/Gulaba/Rohtang - DO invest in the snow suits and boots. They were absolute life savers for us and I cant stress how much.
4) The Club House is fun - just go for kicks. Dont miss the ATV ride and the river crossing.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perched at an elevation of 2003 metres & built in the Victorian Gothic Revival style, The Himalayan is an exclusive boutique resort with an al fresco swimming pool overlooking Manali town. Tucked away in its own cul-de-sac amidst an apple & cherry orchard are 8 opulent guest rooms in the Castle (all with four-poster beds & antique armoires) and 8 cottages (each with 2 Bedrooms complete with en-suite bathrooms, dining & drawing space with functional fire place). The Cottage kitchenettes are equipped with all modern amenities/appliances. All cottages have their own cosy gardens, balconies & mountain views. All rooms come with tea/coffee makers, in-room safes & bespoke bath amenities. Bar, Restaurant & In-room dining is available. Croquet, Trampoline & Table Tennis is provided for children & adults alike. Gymnasium is offered on the premises. Fully equipped Boardroom. An elaborate Spa will be added in the near future. ... more less
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